KS4 /English: Nineteenth-Century Literature: Hole in the Wall and responses to technology

The materials provided here allow students to explore responses to technology found in tlineblocked.jpghe nineteenth-century press.

They introduce the context for the 1866 article 'Hole in the Wall', where a reporter visits (and is astounded by) a working signal box.  The article itself includes detailed description of place.  The resources encourage speaking and listening, provoke analytical responses, and help develop the use of evidence in written responses.

You will find differentiated versions of the texts and examples in the resources, downloadable below.

The activities can form a unit on signals or be used separately.  They address National Curriculum statutory requirements:

read and appreciate the depth and power of the English literary heritage through: 

•reading a wide range of high-quality, challenging, classic literature and extended literary non-fiction, such as essays, reviews and journalism including works from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries

understand and critically evaluate texts through:

 •seeking evidence in the text to support a point of view, including justifying inferences with evidence 

•analysing a writer’s choice of vocabulary, form, grammatical and structural features, and evaluating their effectiveness and impact


They address GCSE English language assessment objectives:

AO2: Explain, comment on and analyse how writers use language and structure to achieve effects and influence readers, using relevant subject terminology to support their views 

AO3: Compare writers’ ideas and perspectives, as well as how these are conveyed, across two or more texts 

AO4: Evaluate texts critically and support this with appropriate textual references

Download all your resources here:

Teacher pack



Created by Anne Chapman.  With many thanks to Mr R Loye and pupils from Hylands School, Chelmsford for testing these resources for us!